30 July 2014

Eric Kim's FREE Online Course - Composition in Street Photography

Would you like an instructor to teach you more about composing the perfect street photo? Wouldn't it be nice if this instructor was a gifted street photographer and the lessons were free?! Well, we all have that opportunity by visiting Eric Kim's Street Photography Blog.

Eric offers a FREE course in composition featuring the following subjects.

Below is a Slideshare presentation that Eric has also made available to share. He uses it as an introduction to composition in street photography.


Eric also offers a complete FREE open source online street photography course entitled "All the World's a Stage: Introduction to Street Photography"

I hope that karma is kind to Eric and rewards him for his generosity to all of us!

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29 July 2014

A First Look at Matter, A Creative Design Tool from Pixite by David Hayes

I'd like to thank David Hayes for this excellent tutorial! Hopefully this will be the first of more to come.

The folks at Pixite have recently put out a new app that has everyone’s attention: Matter. What is so uniquely interesting about this app is not only does it have a great array of 3D objects that can be inserted into your photos; it also gives you the ability to animate these objects and create short video clips. I’d like to share with you a “first look” at what this app can do.

Opening Matter brings you to this screen that has a couple of options worth bringing to your attention. The Info (A) icon will take you to three different screens about the app…make sure to give the third screen a close look as it’s a quick tutorial on all the features of this app. The Ideas (B) screen shows you some great pieces created with this app…worth a look as well your first time using the app. Finally, the New icon (C) is what you’ll click every time as it will take you to your Photo Albums.

I picked this background from my Camera Roll that I had created earlier for a different project. (I always like to recycle when I can!) As you can see at the bottom of this screen shot, Matter, gives you a choice of four different aspect ratios for you to crop with…or “None”… which I used as my source image was already cropped square. Clicking on the Check Mark icon in the bottom right takes you to the Objects menu.

There are four different categories of 3D objects you can choose from…make sure to go through all of them when you first start exploring this app. These can be accessed either through the on-screen menu or from the scroll bar at the bottom. I went to the “Unique Structures” pack for my first object.

In this pack, I chose “Structures – 4” as I like how the circles and loops complimented my background. Just click on the icon/symbol in the scroll bar to put it into place.

Using the usual two-finger pinch and hold, I repositioned this structure in my source image. I didn’t worry about fine-tuning this placement just yet as I knew I had to also reposition the structure’s shadow in a couple of steps.

With the structure roughly in place, I clicked on the “Style” tab, which gives you a number of style options for the object. I picked “Reflect” so the colors in my source image would be reflected, adding to the 3D effect.

Time to work with the Shadow (A). You have the option of leaving the Shadow effect “On” or turning it off…I left it on. Clicking the arrow icon (B) lets you adjust the Shadow Floor or the positioning of the shadow to the object. Using the scroll bar, I moved it to “80”.

Moving to next icon, Shadow Opacity, I adjusted this to 100%.

The last icon lets you adjust the Shadow Blur that I set at 10%. With all this in place, I did a little more adjusting of the Structures position in preparation for the next step. Clicking on the arrow icon in the top right corner will take me there!

In this screen you are given the option of “New” which starts things all over, “Video” which takes you to the video set-up screen…not ready for that yet…or “Export” which I clicked.

Many choices in this screen! This time I clicked on “Add Object” as I wanted to do just that. A note here…this will lock down any structure that you have worked with beforehand so make sure you’re happy with your prior work before moving on!

I clicked on the menu icon to return to the Structure Pack screen.

This time I went for “Polyonfire Collection”. (Sounds like something from the Hunger Games, doesn’t it!!!)

I’m going to move through the next steps quickly now, as it’s the same flow as the first object. In this Collection, I picked “Polyonfire – 11”.

Positioning this structure, I moved to the “Style” screen.

Again I picked “Reflect” for the same reasons as before.

I adjust the “Shadow Floor” to 94% this time.

“Shadow Opacity” was set to 100%.

Finally, the “Shadow Blur” at 10%.

A little repositioning of this object and now it’s time to animate!! Click on the top right arrow…

This time, click on “Video”!

This screen gives you several options in making your video. You can pick which axis(s) your object will rotate upon, the Speed of this Rotation, a Pulse effect, and a Hover effect. Play around with them all before settling to make sure you get just the right combination. For my project I picked the “X” axis, speed of “1” and no Pulse or Hover. Then click “Make Video” to make it so!

You’ll get this screen while the app puts everything into place. Once finished, your video will automatically be saved to your Camera Roll.

This screen will come up when your video is finished to give you Share options. Clicking on the IG icon takes you to a screen to set-up for sharing here which I’ll show you next…or click “Done” to close out.

If you picked the IG option, you’ll get this screen. Click on “Open Instagram” and you’ll be taken there!

Here’s my video clip for your enjoyment…hope you like it! You can also catch this on my IG stream, @clearerreflections, along with many more like clips!

About David Hayes

David has done many things in his life...some of which he considers more significant than others. Yet, he feels all have made him the artist he is today. He’s been a cook at a truck stop, a janitor at a military base, worked in advertising, been a banker managing other people’s money, and an elementary school teacher. Trained as a photographer as an undergrad, he’s recently returned to these roots and now considers himself foremost a photographer and secondly a mixed media artist.

Find David:  Website / Flickr / Instagram / Facebook 

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Mob Street Photographer - えんぞう Enzo

Here is the third installment featuring a photographer from the Mob Street Flickr Group. We are already growing and the work is beautiful. I learn from each photo that I view. Today I present a photo from Japan. The world has become so small with the advances in technology. I love that I can see street life in Japan without ever leaving my living room! 

“The Pictures are there, and you just take them” – Robert Capa

The Work

© えんぞう Enzo
© えんぞう Enzo

The Photographer - えんぞう Enzo

© えんぞう Enzo
I work in an advertising agency in Tokyo. The appearance of Instagram was an opportunity for me to make Mobile Photography into a hobby.  I have served as the representative of Instagrammers Japan (@IGersJP) since 2012. I published the iPhone photography book "Asagaya Residence" in Japan in 2013. I was awarded by Mobile Masters |  P R O O F | Contest in 2014.

(Geri's Note: I enlisted the aid of my high school friend and her father to help me translate the original Japanese. I wanted to give Enzo the chance to comment in his native language so he could fully express his ideas on mobile photography.)

Enzo's Commentary 

I am working on mobile photography with two major concepts which are photography of ordinary life while the other is more creative photography.

I think that the photos of ordinary life seen is the real meaning of mobile photography. My experience with photography started when Instagram was created. The iPhone 3Gs was the first camera I owned. I was so interested in Instagram that I bought and used many cameras and even took a professional photography course and obtained a certificate. I used an iPhone most of the time, because it fits in my palm.

If I had more leisure time, I would have used professional photography equipment, software and computer for processing and editing photos. Unfortunately, I am not a professional photographer, but an ordinary working person and head of a family. Without mobile photography, I would not be interested in photography. At the same time, my photography is inevitably limited to family photos on my days off. In general, my photos are not so called "cool", consequently my challenge is to take "cool" photos. My pictures are weekend shopping and leisure times seen.

My second concept of mobile photography is kind of "Dadaisme". I am creating photos with people, umbrella, silhouette or reflection in a magnificent scene and photos using the analog filtering technique.

The early devices of iPhoneography were poor quality when used as a camera and required creative techniques for photographing and processing to get good results. Since the creation of Instagram, various techniques have evolved. The word "iphoneographs" has been forgotten, while the quality of the "mobile photograph" has improved significantly. The benefits Instagram has brought are countless.

Instagram, however brought adverse effects with the supremacy being the quantity of social media responses in the form of "likes" and "followers". The photo quality has improved significantly with the remarkable improvement of devices and software (apps). Although we do intuitively judge the individual photos "cool" or "good" it is still important for self-examination and critique of our own work, so as not to be too influenced by likes and followers.

Find Enzo:  Website / Instagram / EyeEm / Flickr 

Special thanks to my friend Grace and her father for their translation - it gave me so much insight into Enzo's work. 

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28 July 2014

Mob Paint Monday - Sharing Six Apps

Normally I would feature one of the artists from the Mob Paint Flickr Group today. Although I have a few in the works none are ready for prime-time yet. Instead, I decided to share a few of the apps I use regularly that may not yet be in your toolbox.

Focal Lab ($0.99 App Store) - I have been applying more creative blurring to my images since taking the iPhoneography course by Susan Tuttle. Although I have several blur apps, I really love Focal Lab and it's quickly becoming my favorite. With Focal Lab you can add a Dreamy Blur, Soft Focus, Zoom Blur, Motion Blur as well as a Vignette. You can also shift the center of each blur by sliding your finger over the image and also control the intensity of the blur using the slider. Full resolution support only up to 1200 by 1600 pixels, but I can always upsize using Filterstorm or a number of other apps.

Focal Lab Screen Shots
Focal Lab was used in the edit of this piece.

The Eye is Not the Seeing © Geri Centonze
The Eye is Not the Seeing © Geri Centonze

27 July 2014

Giveaway! What's the Matter? Pixite's New APP!!!

Just when you think developers have come up with about everything there is to do with a photo app, along comes one that is a real paradigm shifter. The newest kid on the Pixite block of apps is called Matter and it is quite the game changer, especially for artists that love the surreal! 

And guess what - I have a giveaway - six promo codes to six lucky winners. Just leave a comment to sign up. Winners will be announced Wednesday, July 30th at 8:00 a.m PDT. If you never want to miss a giveaway, subscribe to have Art of Mob delivered to your inbox by clicking here

Chad Rankin specializes in the surreal - his Instagram name is @sirreal and he was kind enough to allow me to feature some of his work created with the new Matter app.

Traversing Mercury ~ Reconstructing Atmosphere © Chad Rankin

© Chad Rankin
in the beginning...© Chad Rankin

From the Heavens © Chad Rankin

These images should get your creative juices flowing...but there's more you can do with Matter. Check out these videos that Chad made.

I haven't had a lot of time to experiment with Matter, but I did come up with this creation. (I also used Tangent and Union in this edit (both are Pixite apps)

© Geri Centonze

Here's a video overview of the app. There will also be another post on Matter coming soon with a tutorial. Be sure to watch for it.

Don't forget to sign-up for the giveaway! Leave a comment below to enter.

25 July 2014

Giveaway! Clean That Screen with WHOOSH! Screen Shine

Did You Know?
  • 30% of a virus can be transferred from your screen to your fingers. 
  • The average cell phone is up to 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
  • 18% of mobile phones are contaminated with staphylococcus.
  • 16% of mobile phones are contaminated with fecal flora and E. coli. (okay fess up, you know you take your device in the bathroom with you!)

I didn't know all of those Fun Facts, all I knew is I wanted to find a cleaner for my iPhone and iPad that would get results. I don't use a screen protector because I like the feel of the iPhone/iPad screen when working. However, one of the results of being an avid iPhoneographer is that we edit a lot on our devices. That's hundreds and thousands of swipes with our grimy little fingers on our screens.